Your Most Common Teeth Whitening Questions Answered

Zoom teeth whitening AustinZoom teeth whitening is one of the leading cosmetic applications that is both affordable and readily accessible. Some patient questions include:

How long will whitening last?

This is not a permanent solution; however, you can do several things to make your new bright smile last. Avoid or limit the things known to stain dental enamel, like coffee, tea, red wine, cola (or drink them through a straw so liquid will bypass teeth), berries, tomato-based sauces, or any food known to contain food dyes. If you are going to consume these, plan to brush or rinse as soon as possible to reduce exposure to teeth.

How often can I whiten?

You should not whiten more often than once per year, as touch-up kits are available as needed. But proper care may keep your teeth bright for up to a year.

Will I experience sensitivity?

If you are prone to sensitivity due to gum recession or any other reason, simply inform your dental provider. Special care for sensitive areas will be taken as well as you will likely be advised to use a toothpaste designed for sensitivity for a couple of weeks prior to whitening to lessen the problem.

How will teeth whitening affect my previous cosmetic dental work?

If you have any restorations like tooth colored fillings, crowns, dental bonding, etc. that appear in the smile line, teeth whitening will not have any effect on them. Your biological teeth will lighten; however, your cosmetic enhancements will not. If you anticipate any procedures to be done, whiten first so our cosmetic dentists can best match to your new dental shade.

I think I may be pregnant … can I get my teeth whitened?

Patients that are pregnant or breast feeding are advised to delay having teeth whitened until after they are no longer doing either.

Will whitening damage my teeth?

Research indicates that Zoom whitening products have no negative effect on dental enamel.

If I get my teeth whitened, how white can I expect them to get?

Many patients experience up to eight shades lighter, but our dentists will inform you of what you can expect your specific results to be.

If you have further questions, call us at Balcones Family Dental to discuss your own teeth whitening treatment.

Posted in: Zoom teeth whitening

Leave a Comment (0) →

Dental Myths: Only Children Get Cavities

North Austin dentistIt may seem like children are more prone to experience dental decay, but cavities are not restricted to youngsters. Children may be less likely to perform the correct daily oral hygiene regimen that many adults maintain, and their diets may not be as closely monitored as an adult. In addition, the minerals that help to preserve our teeth and keep them healthy are just forming, making children’s teeth seem more susceptible to decay.  These factors can lead to plaque build-up … one of the leading causes of dental decay. Seeing your dentist every six months does not replace daily dental care and good diet choices.

In addition to plaque build-up on teeth, dental decay can occur any time the dental enamel is breached. Adults suffer from stress that can lead to teeth grinding. Grinding away on dental enamel can lead to cracked or broken teeth. Decay or even more serious problems can occur from this condition.

Ineffective or negligent brushing and flossing allows food particles to build and harden on teeth. Improper care can lead to dental decay no matter your age.

Lifestyle habits like smoking (or tobacco use of any kind), illicit drugs, over-indulgence of sugar laden foods alcohol abuse are all factors contribute to the dental condition. Adults that participate in any or all of these actions greatly increase the likelihood of experiencing dental decay or gum disease.

Many medications that are designed to improve a physical condition may produce negative results for dentition.

A dry mouth is a leading cause for dental decay. The inability to produce sufficient saliva can result from illness, medication, or a temporary condition. Staying hydrated or using one of the over the counter products intended to help this situation is recommended.

Chronic illnesses like diabetes or heart disease seem to go hand in hand with dental problems making the need to maintain appointments with the dentist very important.

As we age, forgetfulness becomes an issue. Keeping reminders around or making sure needed dental tools are readily available may be helpful.

Infants, children, teens, young adults, and senior citizens are all candidates for dental decay. Prevention means limiting sugary snacks and beverages, brushing daily with a fluoridated tooth paste, flossing daily and seeing our dental team every six months.

If decay does occur, having it treated right away may prevent costly and time consuming restorative treatment later. So don’t delay and call our office today to schedule your next appointment!

Posted in: dentist

Leave a Comment (0) →

How to Keep the ‘Treats’ from Playing ‘Tricks’ On Your Child’s Teeth

north Austin dentistHalloween is a beloved holiday and for good reason; children and adults alike get to be anything they want to be for an evening. For children, it’s a magical night filled with possibilities, community engagement, a little bit of healthy fright, and of course, candy. While a few bites of candy aren’t going to ruin your kid’s oral health, there are steps parents can take to ensure healthy teeth and gums – even during Halloween festivities. Our dentists provide quality oral healthcare to children in our area.

Healthy Tips for Halloween

One thing that parents can do is encourage moderation and monitor when any leftover candy is eaten. Since candy is full of sugar and sometimes acid, it can lead to tooth decay and bacterial growth. If your child has collected a surplus of candy that will easily last beyond Halloween, consider keeping the candy in a safe place where you can administer it as you see fit. An easily accessible bag of candy could mean that your son or daughter sneaks bites before supper or after nighttime oral hygiene.

During candy collection on Halloween, bring bottled water with you. Encourage kids to take sips of water throughout the night. This will help dilute harmful particles and rinse the mouth of sugar and acid. Diluting and rinsing the mouth after consuming sugar is important because sugar is the natural food source for bacteria. When candy is ingested, bacteria literally go into a feeding frenzy.

If you host a Halloween party at your home for children in your neighborhood, consider fun and tasty alternatives to candy. For instance, you can “bob” for apples and serve snacks such as celery with peanut butter and raisins. While these foods have sugar, they are healthier alternatives to store bought candy.

Before bedtime on Halloween and any subsequent days where candy is eaten, watch over your children’s oral hygiene routines to make sure they are brushing and flossing properly.

Our practice would like to wish our community a happy and safe Halloween. Call us to schedule a checkup or cleaning.

Posted in: dentist

Leave a Comment (0) →

Can Invisalign correct crowded teeth?

Invisalign Round RockSince Invisalign has been made available to the public, millions of people have improved the function and aesthetics of their smiles. This revolutionary orthodontic system eliminates the need for permanent orthodontic appliances and instead, utilizes removable aligners made of plastic to move teeth to healthier positions over the course of treatment. Invisalign can improve spacing issues such as crowded or gapped teeth, as well as misaligned bites and overlapping teeth. Our dentists offer consultations for adults and teenagers seeking an alternative to conspicuous metal orthodontia.

How does Invisalign work?

As with traditional orthodontia, Invisalign corrects the positioning of teeth by applying force and pressure. Applying continuous and steady pressure will shift teeth to a straighter alignment over time. Unlike traditional metal and wire braces, though, Invisalign is made from different materials. Patients will simply wear a custom fitted retainer-like appliance called an aligner for two weeks at a time. These custom aligners will then be swapped out for a tighter set every successive two weeks until treatment is complete.

What are the benefits of Invisalign?

Wearing Invisalign offers numerous benefits to patients. First, the construction of Invisalign aligners means that patients can receive orthodontic treatment in as discreet a manner as possible. Since these aligners are clear, they are not noticeable to others.

Another benefit related to the materials that make up Invisalign is the fact that the plastic used to craft aligners will not cut into or irritate the linings of the cheeks and lips or the tongue.

Lastly, since patients can take out their aligners for meals and oral hygiene, eating a balanced diet and cleaning one’s mouth is much easier than with traditional braces.

How do I know if Invisalign is right for me?

Even though Invisalign can help many patients, some folks benefit better from traditional orthodontia. Our dentists can help you determine the best method of treatment for your situation. To schedule a consultation with our friendly and caring staff, call us at Balcones Family Dental today.

Posted in: Invisalign

Leave a Comment (0) →

Zoom Teeth Whitening: Is it really possible to have a brighter smile?

Zoom teeth whitening AustinMany people try to whiten their smiles at home with over the counter teeth whitening products. Some patients come to our practice feeling very skeptical of whitening treatments because most over the counter products produce minimal, if any, results. Store bought products only contain small amounts of the active ingredients that whiten teeth and unfortunately, these many products make misleading claims. Despite the limitations of store bought products, there is a solution to achieving a visibly brighter and whiter smile with professional cosmetic dentistry. Our dentist office offers Zoom teeth whitening, a non-invasive treatment method that can dramatically lighten the darkest stains on teeth. In just one visit to our practice, patients can achieve a smile that is up to ten shades lighter. Zoom teeth whitening is safe, effective, and convenient.

How is professional teeth whitening different?

Professional teeth whitening is very different from store bought whitening gels, strips, and toothpaste because our practice utilizes prescription strength ingredients that can penetrate the enamel surface of teeth to truly bleach permanent tooth stains. Since more potent bleaching solutions are used, patients can achieve much more noticeable results that won’t damage tooth enamel.

What does Zoom teeth whitening entail, exactly?

Receiving Zoom teeth whitening is a quick, comfortable cosmetic dentistry procedure. The procedure only takes about 45 minutes to an hour. First, our team will place an oral appliance into the mouth to hold it open and then apply liquid dam and gauze over soft oral tissues and the gums to protect them from irritation. Then we will apply the prescription strength bleaching solution over the front sides of teeth. Once the solution is applied, patients will recline in our comfortable examination chairs while a dental laser hovers over the mouth to speed up the teeth whitening process. The laser concentrates a beam of light over the teeth that deepens and accelerates the bleaching procedure.

To learn more about our smile enhancing procedures, call Balcones Family Dental to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists.

Posted in: Zoom teeth whitening

Leave a Comment (0) →

I have an underbite: Can Invisalign help?

North Austin InvisalignIn addition to misaligned teeth, bite issues such as overbites and underbites affect one’s appearance and oral function. When it comes to orthodontic treatment, many adults prefer discreet methods of improving their appearance and bite (occlusion). For this reason, our dentists offer Invisalign – a revolutionary way to address bite issues and misaligned teeth that is both inconspicuous and comfortable. Sometimes referred to as “clear braces”, Invisalign was specifically designed as a comfortable and discreet alternative to traditional metal and wire braces. This form of treatment can correct common issues like gapped, crooked, and overlapped teeth as well as improve underbites and overbites.

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign works similarly to traditional braces. The difference, however, is in the materials used. Instead of conspicuous brackets and metal wires, Invisalign straightens teeth with the use of form-fitting aligners made of semi-soft plastics. Patients will wear a set of aligners for about two weeks and then swap out their previous set for a new, tighter set. Each set is designed specifically for each patient so that they fit properly and apply just enough pressure and force to straighten teeth over time.

What are the benefits of Invisalign?

Aligners are made from clear plastics and therefore are very discreet. In fact, Invisalign is practically undetectable to others. In addition to being discreet, Invisalign is comfortable. The plastic used to make aligners will not cut into or irritate soft oral tissues as fixed, metal orthodontia does. Lastly, Invisalign is removable. When wearing Invisalign, aligners are removed during meals and oral hygiene. This makes eating food, brushing, and flossing much easier.

Who is a candidate for clear braces?

Many people can benefit from this type of treatment. Typically, Invisalign is reserved for adults or teenagers. If you wonder whether clear braces are right for your needs, we recommend scheduling a consultation with one of our dentists. At your appointment, our team will evaluate the placement of your teeth through an oral examination to see how Invisalign can be of benefit to you.

Call our practice at 512-200-7422 to reserve an appointment and discuss with our specialists about whether Invisalign is right for you! 

Posted in: Invisalign

Leave a Comment (0) →

How Closely Do Dental Implants Mimic a Natural Tooth?

dental implants North AustinLosing one or more teeth can be a devastating experience. For patients who wish to return to the most natural condition they can, dental implants are the logical choice.

One or more teeth secured with dental implants afford the patient many advantages:

Permanent – Your new teeth are cemented in place during the final phase of treatment. At this time, these teeth are so close to looking and acting like your biological teeth, you may forget about your prior tooth loss.

Speaking clearly – Whether you are supplanting teeth recently lost or have experienced some time since your natural teeth were in place, you will enjoy the luxury of speaking clearly without concerns about anything impeding your ability to talk clearly. When we speak, the tongue and teeth work in tandem to make certain sounds. When teeth are missing, it is harder to pronounce some sounds. This is no longer an issue with dental implants.

Food Enjoyment – Chewing when teeth are missing takes a lot of joy out of eating. The ability to eat all the foods you love is restored with dental implants.

Confidence Boost – When you are missing teeth, you may hesitate to smile or laugh in public. Or you might always cover your mouth. You will smile broadly once your dental implants are in place. You will no longer have those embarrassing gaps to cover.

A consultation with your dentist will determine whether you are a candidate for the implant procedure. A discussion about overall health coupled with a thorough oral exam will be completed. Dental x-rays are often taken to determine bone strength where the implants are to be placed. If insufficient bone is indicated in the area to be implanted, you may require an additional procedure to boost the bone strength for a successful outcome.

Your dentist will schedule appointments to check on your progress throughout the treatment period. Once surgically placed, the implant area usually requires several months to heal. During this time you will be charged with keeping the area as clean as possible to prevent infection.

When ready, the final restoration will be cemented in place that matches surrounding teeth so perfectly it will be difficult to tell which teeth are implants.

To learn more about your tooth replacement options, contact our skilled team at Balcones Family Dental. Call 512-200-7422 today to schedule your visit.

Posted in: dental implants

Leave a Comment (0) →

What Conditions Does Invisalign Treat?

Invisalign North AustinWhen your child reaches the age of seven, it is recommended they visit the dentist for an examination and evaluation regarding the possible need for orthodontic correction. It is possible at this appointment the dentist might suggest doing nothing, but as more teeth emerge (particularly the third molars), this may no longer be a good option. Invisalign has a program that can correct many dental malocclusions:

Over bite – Teeth may protrude due to overcrowding or from an external issue like thumb sucking.

Under bite – Teeth might push inward if there is insufficient jaw space for new teeth to come in.

Cross bite – This occurs when the top teeth do not properly align to their corresponding bottom teeth.

All of these issues are very common; and all are very treatable with Invisalign. Teens and young adults are often very self-conscious so the Invisalign program is perfect for them for many reasons:

They are clear – The aligners are made from a clear material making them virtually undetectable.

They are comfortable – The material is strong enough to slowly move teeth to their correct position; but so comfortable because there are no metal bands or brackets to cause sore gums or cheeks.

They are removable – This is probably the most advantageous aspect of this teeth straightening method. The wearer removes the aligner for meals and snacking allowing all their favorite foods to remain on the menu.

In addition to eating all the foods they love, the aligners can be removed for the daily oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing. There are no obstacles to make this daily task difficult. The dentist can perform a thorough cleaning and dental exam every six months throughout treatment as well.

Depending on the severity of the malocclusion, treatment can take anywhere from six months to a couple of years … very similar to the traditional orthodontics. The aligners must be worn a minimum of twenty to twenty-two hours every day to keep the program on track. Periodic visits to the dentist are required (not a substitute for the six month cleaning appointment) to make sure progress remains on schedule.

To learn more about Invisalign, contact Balcones Family Dental at 512-200-7422 and schedule your informative consultation today.

Posted in: Invisalign

Leave a Comment (0) →

What is in-office teeth whitening?

Zoom teeth whitening AustinNearly everyone wants a bright, white smile. Many people associate white teeth with youth, health, and attractiveness. Since our teeth are porous, they are prone to staining over time. Even if you practice good oral hygiene, your teeth may stain. Dark foods like berries and beverages like wine and coffee will darken teeth with time. Smoking cigarettes and using chewing tobacco will also cause permanent tooth stains. To help patients reverse the effects of a stained smile, our dentist offers Zoom teeth whitening, a quick and non-invasive procedure that dramatically whitens teeth.

How does Zoom teeth whitening work?

Zoom teeth whitening consists of applying a prescription bleaching solution to the front sides of teeth and using a special laser to deepen and accelerate the whitening process. Before the gel is applied, protective gauze is placed over soft tissues in the mouth and lip balm is applied to the lips. Then a comfortable oral appliance is inserted into the mouth to keep the mouth open. The actual whitening process takes less than an hour.

What kind of results can I expect?

If you receive in-office whitening, your results are instantaneous after treatment. Your teeth will look dramatically whiter, and most patients’ teeth lighten about eight to ten shades brighter. If you avoid dark foods and beverages along with tobacco products, your whitening treatment should last at least a year. We recommend sipping beverages – especially soda – through a straw to minimize the exposure of dark particles to teeth. We also encourage you to practice proper oral hygiene that includes daily flossing. Drinking water throughout the day is a great way to rinse away debris from food and drinks that may stain your teeth.

Who is a candidate for professional teeth whitening?

Most patients can receive teeth whitening at our practice. Since we use protective materials and safe bleaching agents, a whitening treatment will not harm the health of teeth.

To learn more about cosmetic dentistry, call our practice today to schedule an informative consultation.

Posted in: Zoom teeth whitening

Leave a Comment (0) →

How durable are porcelain veneers?

veneers north AustinDo you want to improve your smile with cosmetic dentistry? Do you want to conceal or correct permanent stains and misaligned teeth? If you have multiple cosmetic problem areas, porcelain veneers might be the best option for you to achieve the smile of your dreams.

A cosmetically flawed smile can greatly affect your self-esteem. Many patients with noticeable imperfections are very self-conscious about their appearance and even avoid social situations because they are embarrassed about their teeth. Fortunately, veneers conceal every imaginable imperfection without looking unnatural. Since each veneer is handcrafted from porcelain, these cosmetic enhancements can last for decades with proper care.

Can you eat normal foods with veneers?

Patients with veneers can eat any food with ease. This is because veneers are permanently cemented to the front of teeth. Patients who have veneers will clean their teeth as normal with regular brushing and flossing.

How can porcelain veneers improve my smile?

Razor thin pieces of porcelain are crafted by hand in dental laboratories to very precise specifications. Each veneer is shaped and sized to fit over a specific tooth. This means that once a veneer is bonded to the teeth, it will perfectly enhance a patient’s appearance by concealing a stained, misshapen, or misaligned tooth. Once all veneers are placed, patients will enjoy a straight and uniform smile that is a beautiful shade of white.

Who should receive veneers?

Our dentist offers a few different types of cosmetic procedures including teeth whitening and white restorations. Veneers are typically reserved for patients who suffer with different types of smile flaws. While this smile enhancement is incredibly effective in improving one’s appearance, it is not right for everyone. We recommend scheduling a consultation with our team to determine the best procedure(s) that meets your unique needs. At your appointment, we will discuss how you would like to see improvement in your appearance and explain how different procedures can help you achieve your goals.

We believe that patients should not have to suffer with an imperfect smile. To schedule an appointment with our compassionate and experienced team, call Balcones Family Dental at 512-200-7422 today.

Posted in: veneers

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 11 12345...»